Smoke alarm plea to people with hearing loss

Mon 12 May, 2014

Firefighters are urging people who are deaf or hard of hearing - or who share a home with someone with hearing loss - to check that they have effective smoke alarms.

The plea comes during the run-up to Deaf Awareness Week, organised by the UK Council on Deafness, which starts next Monday (19 May).

An estimated one million adults in the UK are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm, either because of hearing difficulties or because they remove their hearing aids at night.

A number of alarms have been designed specifically for people who are hard of hearing, with features ranging from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms to small wearable radio-linked pagers.

Neil Boustred, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: “It is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing ensure they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them – and that they test them regularly, to make sure they work.

“Many people with hearing loss could be at serious risk if they don’t have the right alarm in place. A specialist alarm system provides valuable time to escape from a house fire. Without it, lives could be lost.

“Anyone unsure about the alarm they need should contact us for a free safety check in their home. We are here to help make sure your home is as safe from fire as possible.”

To book a free safety check, ring 01296 744477 or send an email to